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Old 05-11-2004, 01:30 AM   #121
HerenIstarion
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you mean?
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Old 05-14-2004, 02:35 PM   #122
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i mean i can't understand a word being said...i lost track!!!
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Old 07-12-2004, 10:49 PM   #123
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ok, another question from me: did evil really diminish after the fall of morgoth???cause then later sauron just recorrupted men by going to numenor, so nothing really changed...except for the fact that beleriand was destroyed.....
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Old 07-13-2004, 12:17 AM   #124
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This thread, as the evil in Arda even after Morgoth's departure, lingers on

With regards to your question - the evil as focused in the person of Morgoth did diminish, but he's will (as it was already dispersed into all the matter of Arda) remained. It refocused itself in the person of Sauron, indeed. But it is not quite true to say that 'nothing changed'. For one, silmarili were regained, and though two were lost again, one still shines as the sign of hope. And the redemption of Exile Elves came to be, and Men were given the chance to reach the peak of their possible development (Numenor), and races of the Maiar, Elves and Men were united by blood through first two Unions and many things more.

All of this would not have happened if not for Morgoth. One of the stems of Tolkien's philosophy at work:

Quote:
And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.'
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Old 07-13-2004, 07:33 AM   #125
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So, if you follow the philosophy through....
Then the gold that is in the ring on my finger has a smidgen of Morgoth in it eh?
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Old 07-13-2004, 07:52 AM   #126
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So, if you follow the philosophy through....
Then the gold that is in the ring on my finger has a smidgen of Morgoth in it eh?
Only if this world is Middle Earth in a later age. Did Tolkien think so?
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Old 07-13-2004, 12:48 PM   #127
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Professor T said he based Morgoth and Sauron on the Norse God/Frost Giant Loki
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Old 07-13-2004, 02:48 PM   #128
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are we not still inhabiting Arda?
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Old 07-14-2004, 12:43 AM   #129
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we never left it

Supposedly, yes. (ask Child of Seventh Age about it )

Tolkien's world, taken from philological point of view, is a reconstruction, 'what it might have been back than' kind of world. Tolkien's creative process may be watered down, IMO, to state that 'if there is a word, and if the word is the same for many related languages, there must be, or must have been at one time, some concept hidden behind it'. So, of word for dwarf is the same for all Germanic languages, and wood-woses are remembered in place names, and world 'holbytla' has a genuine taste of reality to it, and wood's ability to walk is remebered even in Shakespear's time, than it may all have been true once, and it may be reconstructed.

Besides:

Quote:
from Letter 183 (Notes on W. H. Auden's review of The Return of the King)

I am historically minded. Middle-earth is not an imaginary world. The name is the modern form (appearing in the 13th century and still in use) of midden-erd > middel-erd, an ancient name for the oikoumenē, the abiding place of Men, the objectively real world, in use specifically opposed to imaginary worlds (as Fairyland) or unseen worlds (as Heaven or Hell). The theatre of my tale is this earth, the one in which we now live, but the historical period is imaginary.
We never left ME - it is our home. The stories of Tolkien might have happened, or might have not, though .

Bet you a dollar?
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Old 07-14-2004, 01:50 AM   #130
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Oh, but this creates questions.

Was Tolkien offering us a speculative history of this world - in which case we must rule out both allegory and applicability. We're dealing with (possible) history pure & simple - uless we believe history repeats itself, but that's not really a case of 'applicability', as if history does really repeat itself, then whether we 'apply' events in the Legendarium to present events or not the applicability would be forced on the situation - no 'freedom of the reader'.

Allegory certainly would be out, because a (possibly) real historical event could not be an allegory of a current one. But let's take a statement of Tolkien's in Jared Lobdell's 'A Tolkien Compass:

Quote:
'The fellowship ... left on December 25th, which then had no sgniificance, since the Yule, or its equivalent, was then the last day of the year & the first of the next year. But December 25th (setting out) & March 25th (accomplishment of the quest) were intentionally chosen by me'
'A guide to the names in LotR'
December 25th (birth of Christ), March 25th (Annunciation & old date of Good Friday), were 'intentionally chosen' by Tolkien - allegory creeping in, or a case of history repeating itself?

But the question of primary & secondary reality now sneaks in from the canonicity thread Shouldn't (mustn't?) the primary & secondary world's be kept seperate, in order for the effect of the secondary world to work. Or was there a historical split between the two worlds, after the events described in the Legendarium? The problem with seeing Middle earth as an actual historical period is that it denies the existence of Faerie as another 'reality' co-existing with this one, which we can still enter into (imaginatively, at least) & draw from - it becomes an historical, long gone epoch of our own history, not the source of living spiritual nourishment; least of all a means to eucatastrophic experience.

So it would require a kind of 'Fall of Numenor' split in reality. Up to a certain point, Middle Earth was our history, but after that point it split away, & continued as 'Faerie'. But this world would then not be Middle Earth in a later age, as Middle Earth's 'later age is somewhere else, running alongside ours. So, perhaps (have I suggested this before?) the Elves haven't 'faded' as such - they are continuing, as real & solid as ever, but we can only glimpse them occasionally, & 'vaguely', living on in another world.

Another problem with the 'actual history' theory is that if we take the records of Middle Earth, they are reports, translations, 'it is said's', 'we have heard's. We don't ever, can't ever, experience Middle earth first hand, only through books, tales, varying accounts - all refering back to an earlier time & place, a time & place we can never get to ourselves, so we can never know. We will never be able to touch an actual artifact of Middle earth origin. It can only ever exist as a secondary world in the mind. We can never find anything of 'pure' Morgoth, uncontaminated, which we can analyse, discover the essential nature of, & then analyse material objects in this world to see if they contain traces of it.

Its a bit of a quagmire - because if Morgoth has infested the very stuff of Arda with his will, & this is Arda, then we are all 'Evil things'
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Old 07-14-2004, 02:09 AM   #131
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or no, it's him again...

Not plunging in headlong, I daresay there is no thing which is one thing and only at all times. I'm myself to me, but grandchild to my grandmother, and son to my father, co-worker to my collegues, customer to the shop-keeper, passenger to a trolley-bus driver and so forth unceasing. I'm decent chap to some, annoying know-it-all to others, best man there is to my girlfriend (I believe ), disgusting drooling drunkard to those who've seen me only once on one ocassion some years ago and etc etc etc

What I'm driving at, ME maybe one and another at the same time.

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Old 07-14-2004, 07:36 AM   #132
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ill take that bet..

and raise you a dollar
As far as allegory goes (ugh) i will throw this one out: Plato
Do we see ME as one of the shadows that is cast upon the wall? Do some of us "see" that shadow, and others see other shadows, or just see the wall? Good and Evil, aesthetics (what is pleasing to the eye and what is not) - its all in the minds eye.

I wouldnt rule out history repeating itself. All we really know is from remnants of documentation that we happened to have found. We have been around for a long time. With us all that time is good and evil, beauty and ugliness...
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Old 07-14-2004, 07:46 AM   #133
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Question

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The problem with seeing Middle earth as an actual historical period is that it denies the existence of Faerie as another 'reality' co-existing with this one, which we can still enter into (imaginatively, at least) & draw from - it becomes an historical, long gone epoch of our own history, not the source of living spiritual nourishment; least of all a means to eucatastrophic experience.
Does that necessarily follow, though, davem? In past times, myths and folklore were often considered to be "historically" factual, and yet they nevertheless provided a link (imaginatively, at least) to Faerie.
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Old 07-14-2004, 08:27 AM   #134
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In past times, myths and folklore were often considered to be "historically" factual, and yet they nevertheless provided a link (imaginatively, at least) to Faerie.
Is Faerie an 'actively' exsting state - either an 'inner' psychological, or an 'outer' other dimensional one - which is accessible, or is it a 'dead' record of past beliefs, only existing in texts? Is Middle earth 'Faerie', or is it an 'it is said', a 'we have heard' account of Faerie. If Middle earth was Faerie, then Faerie was an historical epoch of our world, & is no more - unless it has survived in the will of Morgoth which suffuses all matter, including our bodies, so Morgoth continues to live in some sense in us.

If Middle Earth is an 'it is said', a 'we have heard' account of Faerie', then it cannot have been a real historical epoch, it is merely a variety of accounts by different people, all with their own biases, of something else. What I mean is, Tolkien is constantly pointing at something which we can't any longer see, refering us to something else - the distant, ever receding vistas, of time & space. But this is Elvish, in its strictest sense - nostalgic yearning for a past that is forever lost. The texts Tolkien has given us are Elvish things - attempts to recreate what once was. They are 'art'. Lord of the Rings is an Elvish artwork, in the same way that Lorien was. Lorien was a 'living' sculpture, made of the stuff of Middle earth, shaped from memory by magic. But it wasn't the 'real' thing, only a reflection of the real. In the same way, I'd say Lord of the Rings, Middle earth itself, is a reflection, shaped by words ('living shapes that move from mind to mind' - Mythopoea).

So, was Lorien an 'allegory' of Valinor, an attempt to reproduce it, a copy, an idealisation (if we can 'idealise' the IDEAL). Or is the beauty of Lorien merely 'applicable' to Valinor? Or is Lorien 'history repeating itself'. Whatever. Lorien was not Valinor, however close a reflecton it might have been. In the same way, I'd say that Middle earth cannot be an account of our historical past, because it is 'memories' (internally to Middle Earth), or desire (externally, in that Tolkien created it).

The Legendarium 'points back' to something else, which it attempts to recreate, but it is not the ding an sich, because, as Tolkien himself has pointed out in On Fairy Stories, we can never get back to the 'original' of any fairy story, because fairy stories grow, like trees in the forest of tales. Middle earth is such a tree - if we were able to go 'back' through the centuries we wouldn't find a more 'perfect' tree, we'd find an acorn - which wouldn't be what we were looking for, or the parent tree which dropped the acorn, or the grandparent tree. We'd never find the 'perfect' version of 'our' tree in the past. Going back into the past from Lorien would lead us to the woods of Orome in Valinor, perhaps, but not to an 'ideal' Lorien. Lorien is itself, an artwork, a inspired by something else. In the same way Middle earth is inspired by something else - by myth, history, dream - it arises out of those things, but it is not those things. Its the 'finger, pointing at the moon'. Question is (probably unanswerable), is that moon still there, so that the finger is pointing to a still existing place (Faerie as another, still existing, inner or outer, dimension), or is it pointing to something that's gone forever (Faerie as an historical epoch of our world).
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